Charlotte Junior Challenge
March 26-27, 2016 The Game is Simple, Stay in the Fairway
Week 14 on the HJGT took place with five different tournaments presented by the Hurricane Junior Golf tour from Florida to Washington state. The Charlotte Junior Shootout took place at Stonebridge Golf Club in Monroe, N.C., where 63 golfers took to the narrow and curvy course. The name of the game was accuracy as missing the fairway could spell disaster. The narrow fairways with trees and bunkers all around was tough for some, but not for all. Round one scores came in with a lot of under par rounds. Each division had a tight battle going into round two setting up an exciting championship Sunday. We would like to thank the staff at Stonebridge for their hospitality and professionalism on and off the course; they really helped us this weekend. There was a lot at stake here this weekend and the players really played up to the competition and had a great weekend. Junior Golf Scoreboard Rankings were for all competitors to gain. Winners in each division received an invitation to the 2016 Tour Championship on Dec. 3-4, 2016. Top three finishers in each division will receive an exemption into the 2016 Druh Belts Mid Season Invitational at Chateau Elan on June 11-13. Top 10 finishers received points towards year end honors which include state teams, all HJGT teams, and the Hurricane Cup. Finally, South Carolina Junior Golf Association Heritage Points and Tarheel Youth Golf Association Points were up for grabs.
Boys 16-18 Division
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Quincy Stith came to the Charlotte Junior Challenge with one thing on his mind, to win. The Wichita, Kan., native did just about everything right this weekend as he collected six birdies during the first round and four more during the second round. His 69 in round two was the best of the weekend as he finished at five-under-par 139. Holes No. 1 and No. 15 were his best as he birdied them each day. TJ Nolan once again put on a great showing with his second place finish out of 29 divisional competitors, his fifth top five on the HJGT this season. His 141 overall total was highlighted by a second round 69. Nolan also racked up the birdies by collecting four during the first round and six during the second round. His best holes were No. 13 and No. 18 where he made birdies each day. Saksit Jairak of Thailand rounded out the top three. With an impressive 142, Jairak made six birdies, four coming in the second round. Jairak finished each day shooting under par. Par was set at 72.
Boys 14-15 Division
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In another tight battle, Graham Chase edged out the competition to take the victory, his second on the HJGT this season. The hometown hero from Charlotte played one-over-par golf that included 15 pars during the second round to give him a four-over-par 148 total. While the race close, he had a little wiggle room as he managed a two-stroke victory. The Peach State resident in Myles Jones came just short of taking home gold with a 150. The Suwanee, Ga., native’s 73 in round two was the best round of the weekend in the division of 13 golfers. Without a doubt, the eagle on No. 5 was his highlight. Jones eagled the par four to help him shoot -1 on the front nine of the second round. He hit the ball well this weekend with five birdies and the eagle. Another Georgia boy from Cumming was Blake Parkman. Parkman rounded out the top three with a 151 and was a co-leader with Chase after round one.
Boys 11-13 Division
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In our biggest spread of the weekend, the 11-13 division saw the winner run away with the show. Parker Shimp of Charlotte, N.C., cruised to a 12-shot victory. He shot a one-under-par 71 during round two that was highlighted by three birdies and 13 pars. His five total birdies were impressive and he birdied No. 7 in each round. Competition for second was a little tighter as Adam Horn of Milford, Ohio, grabbed the second place trophy. He played consistent golf in posting 81 on each day giving him a 162 for the weekend. Spencer Turtz, another Charlotte native, did not have to travel far as he came in with a 166 and the third place finish out of four in the division. His first round 81 was the best of the weekend for him.
Girls 14-18 Division
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This division saw great play from a number of competitors. Lexi Clark, Vivien Yen, and Katie James came out firing with first round scores of 75. However, they were outpaced by Napaknaree Sirithorn of Thailand who shot an even-par round of 72. The second day saw even more strong play. The ladies braved the fog and rain to go low again. JPGA teammates Lexi Clark of Fairfax Station, Va., and Katie James of Pittsburgh, Pa., once again posted matching scores of 77, which would be enough for a tie for third place out of 10 in the division. Karntida Thantamnu posted an age division best score of 71 in round two to surge up to second place at 149, two strokes off the pace. In the end, Sirithorn couldn’t be bested. She shot a second day total of 75, putting her at 147 for the event and securing the top spot.
Girls 13U Division
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The first day saw a log-jam near the top of the leaderboard. Alexia Siehl of Ft. Mill, S.C., and Nicole Whatley of Northville, Mich., shot a pair of 85s. Behind the strength of a two-birdie round, Savannah Hylton of Hilton Head, S.C., posted a solid 83. However, it was Cindy Song of Waxhaw, N.C., who stood at the top of the leaderboard with a 79. The second day saw improvements from three of the top four peformers from day one. Siehl posted a round of 80, putting pressure on playing partner Hylton. Hylton rose to the occasion with an even-par 72, which saw four-birdies, including two down the stretch to improve by 11 strokes from round one to two. She would go on to win the event with a total of 155 and a seven-stroke victory.
March 26-27 Weather Round 1: Low 53, High 63, Wind 5-10 mph, Cloudy, Spotty Rain Round 2: Low 58, High 70, Winds 5-10 mph, Cloudy, Rain
Tournament Yardages Boys 16-18: 6,654 yards Boys 14-15: 6,654 yards Boys 11-13: 5,710 yards Girls 14-18: 5,710 yards Girls 13U: 5,187 yards